First Production Copy and Final Assembly

Hello everyone!

We received the first couple mass produced copies of the game in the mail last week, and they look great. We'll go through the components with lots of photos and also show the issue we found with the dice. 

But first...

Addresses

How do I update my address?  Send us an email at address@fantasticfactories.com and we can update your address. (Our shipper will request the final backer list from us soon. After that happens, we won't be able to change addresses.)

Moving? If your shipping address will change in September or October, we can hold your package for a couple months until you know your new address. Send us an email at shipping@fantasticfactories.com with your name, country, and when you're moving.

Emails From Us In the last few days, we individually emailed backers who were missing an address or phone number. We sent over 500 emails and have received about 300 responses so far. If you ignored a "We need your address/phone number" (or similar) email from fantastic.factories@gmail.com in the last week, please reply now! 

Manufacturing Update

Estimated delivery: September-October

We are still on track for a September-October delivery (for most backers -- depending on your country of residence, it may arrive sooner or later. This assumes minimal delays in customs)

Mass Production Copy

One of the first "mass production copies" in shrinkwrap.
One of the first "mass production copies" in shrinkwrap.

On July 22, we received the "MPC" (the first mass produced copy of the game). Joseph and I checked over all the components for quality and quantity. In short, the quality is superb. 

We have pictures of all the final components at the bottom of this update.

Blue Dice Issue

We did find one issue with the production copy: the blue dice in the MPC has a much darker shade than we received in the pre-production copy (PPC).

Our manufacturer apologized profusely for the error and they ordered replacement dice in the correct color, which we approved since fixing the issue only delays production by 2 days.

Here are some photos of those dark blue dice that arrived in the MPC we received. The lighter blue dice are from the PPC and are the correct color. Although the darker dice don't look bad in these photos, we find their color is disappointingly muted when playing. 

The correct color (left) and the incorrect color (right)
The correct color (left) and the incorrect color (right)
The dice from the PPC (left) and the dice from the MPC (right). The light blue from the PPC is correct.
The dice from the PPC (left) and the dice from the MPC (right). The light blue from the PPC is correct.

Fixing the dice issue only extends the timeline by 2 days because the factory will start final assembly with the other components while the new dice are being manufactured.

Manufacturing Video

Check out this cool video that our fantastic factory sent us showing part of the box manufacturing process!

 project video thumbnail

Schedule

Here is the planned schedule for the next few months:

Early August

Manufacturing and assembly finishes in Shenzhen, China. Games will be split up into shipping containers by continent (Australia, Europe, North America).

Late August/early September

Games going to Asia are trucked to a fulfillment center in Longhai, China. Games will be packaged into orders and shipped to backers. Loaded shipping containers for Australia/Europe/North America will make their way to port and be loaded onto ships.

September/October

Ships start arriving at the Australian/European/North American ports. Games will go through customs and we will pay import taxes. The games will be freighted to our regional fulfillment centers (in NSW, AU; Strasbourg, FR; Florida, US). Then they will be packaged into orders and shipped to backers. (For games going to Canada, a few pallets of games will be forwarded from Florida to a Canadian fulfillment center and then packed and shipped.)

Note:  Our manufacturing and fulfillment partners are currently arranging the freight details, so we still don't have exact dates yet and this timeline is just an estimate.

European Fulfillment

Orders in Europe will be shipped from a fulfillment center in Strasbourg, France, instead of from the UK as previously mentioned. This helps mitigate some Brexit complications.

First Mass Produced Copy

Here are some pictures of the mass production copies we received in the mail last week.

The MPC and PPC look pretty similar, so some of these photos might look like ones we showed you in May, June and July.

So here's a list of things that feature in these photos that weren't present in the PPC:

  • Shrink wrapped box
  • Card decks plastic wrapped
  • Dice in a bag
  • LUCI award sticker in correct place
  • Promo Pack barcode sticker applied to pouch
  • Token Sheet instructions

The MPC also uses different manufacturing and printing technologies that become obvious upon closer inspection. We'll zoom in on the components and highlight these differences as well.

Click on the images to view them in higher quality. 

The production copy with the shrink wrap, award sticker, and the pack of 5 promo cards.
The production copy with the shrink wrap, award sticker, and the pack of 5 promo cards.
Joseph removing the shrink wrap
Joseph removing the shrink wrap
The rulebook is on top
The rulebook is on top
And then the token sheets are next
And then the token sheets are next
Plastic box tray, plastic zip bags, cards, and player boards
Plastic box tray, plastic zip bags, cards, and player boards
The cards and player boards. Notice the cards are in plastic wrap (the horizontal lines are tearaway tab things)
The cards and player boards. Notice the cards are in plastic wrap (the horizontal lines are tearaway tab things)
The big well under the player boards holds the dice and other pieces. The dice come in a non-zip throwaway bag.
The big well under the player boards holds the dice and other pieces. The dice come in a non-zip throwaway bag.

Box

Here's the shrink wrapped box, complete with the LUCI award sticker. This is the first copy we've received that was actually shrinkwrapped.  

Box Tray

The mass produced tray looks the same as the PPC version.

The box insert/tray in the box bottom.
The box insert/tray in the box bottom.

Token Sheets

 The token sheets now include instructions to place the sheets underneath the box tray after you've punched out the tokens. This keeps the box tray flush with the box lid and helps keep pieces in place when moving the game.

Of the 6 large tokens, only the 4 solid colored Tool tokens are used in the game. The factory and robot head tokens are just for fun. They can be used as alternate first player tokens or as a component for custom rules. 

All three token sheets.
All three token sheets.


Tokens

In the photo below, the pre-production tokens are on top and the MPC tokens are on the bottom.

In the MPC, the clear UV coating is better aligned, the tokens' texture is smoother, and the edge is curved.

Pre-production copy top row, mass production copy bottom row. Penny for scale. In hindsight, maybe we should have chosen a coin still in production...
Pre-production copy top row, mass production copy bottom row. Penny for scale. In hindsight, maybe we should have chosen a coin still in production...

Print Quality

Here we've enlarged the tokens to show the print quality.  The lines are crisper on the MPC and the dot patterns are different. 

The MPC halftone-like pattern looks pretty cool. The dots look large in the photos below (at least, compared to the PPC dots), but in reality, they are so tiny that no matter how hard we try, we can't see them with unaided eyes. 

We leave the technical analysis of printing method as an exercise for the reader. 

The lines in the MPC (bottom) are much crisper than in the PPC (top). The MPC dots may look big but are actually too tiny to see with the unaided eye.
The lines in the MPC (bottom) are much crisper than in the PPC (top). The MPC dots may look big but are actually too tiny to see with the unaided eye.

Rounded edges

The MPC tokens all have a rounded top edge, which adds a little softness and dimension to the otherwise flat tokens. These tokens are die cut, where the PPC tokens were laser cut.

Resource and Goods tokens. Notice the subtly curved edges. Penny for scale
Resource and Goods tokens. Notice the subtly curved edges. Penny for scale
The rounded edges, magnified
The rounded edges, magnified

Boards

The boards are nice, thick, and chunky. They hold the dice well! Pennies for scale.
The boards are nice, thick, and chunky. They hold the dice well! Pennies for scale.
Detail of the Headquarters board
Detail of the Headquarters board

Dice

 The dot painting seems slightly more accurate in the MPC than in the PPC. Note that the production game will have the light blue dice instead of the dark blue ones shown in the pictures.

The dice, magnified
The dice, magnified
The PPC dice are shown on the left and the MPC dice are on the right. Bananas for color reference and scale.
The PPC dice are shown on the left and the MPC dice are on the right. Bananas for color reference and scale.

First player Token

It's the right shape!

Detail of the first player token. Coins for scale.
Detail of the first player token. Coins for scale.

Cards

 The white-core cardstock feels good and the colors look bright.

All the blueprints
All the blueprints
The contractors and the player aids
The contractors and the player aids

Promo Pack

Rulebook

The rulebook looks great. The colors are vibrant and the text is sharp.

Penny for scale
Penny for scale

PPC (left) vs MPC (right)

Here's the pre-production copy we received in April next to the mass production copy we received last week.

The PPC (on the left) looks a little lighter in some photos, but that's due to uneven lighting. 

Overall, the MPC is definitely a step up in quality from the PPC. At a glance, they look basically identical (as shown in the pictures below). But on closer inspection, the little details become obvious and add up to make a noticeably higher quality product.

PPC left, MPC right
PPC left, MPC right
We punched the tokens out of the PPC sheets months ago
We punched the tokens out of the PPC sheets months ago
The PPC (left) has the correct color blue dice. The MPC (right) has the incorrect dark blue dice.
The PPC (left) has the correct color blue dice. The MPC (right) has the incorrect dark blue dice.

You can view all the photos (and a few more) in high quality in this Google Drive folder. Try zooming in!

Coming up next

  • Final assembly of the games should be complete in a couple of weeks and then the games will be loaded into shipping containers and prepared for freight. We'll post an update once we have details.
  • We're still working on the Thai and Hungarian rulebook translations, but we'll try to finish them in the next month.

See you in the next update!

And thank you again for your support!

Joseph and Justin